Sunday Viewing:: Spookies (1986)

Thanks to our buddy JOHN SULLIVAN’s recent IAHTKY everybody around the kindertrauma offices has come down with SPOOKIES fever (our offices consist of myself and five cats under my employ). Now that I think about, J.M. COZZOLI of ZOMBO’s CLOSET revealed his soft spot for SPOOKIES in his IAHTKY too. Now it’s time for everybody who hasn’t seen it before to get a load of what all the fuss is about! I’m happy to tell you that some nice person uploaded the flick onto YouTube! The cool thing is that it’s presented in one piece and it’s lifted from what looks like a decent DVD! Because of all the sad licensing issues that have plagued this film since its inception, it is very possible that it will never make it to DVD. Sure you could buy an old used VHS if you wanted but I’m thinking the color and picture quality is better here! As always, it could vanish at any time so this is your big chance!

The first thing you will notice about SPOOKIES is that it makes no sense. The second thing you will notice is that you don’t really care because it has a zillion monsters in it and the special effects are the kind of which your soul has been craving. The reason this movie is such a jumble is because it was made as something else entirely by two directors, lost its financing before completion and then scenes with little relation were filmed by a third director and used to patch up the holes! It sounds like a recipe for disaster and I suppose it is for fussbudgets who like their movies comprehensible. For those who prefer people who transform into giant spiders over coherence, this is a windfall!

Perhaps SPOOKIES’ biggest drawback is that it lacks any humans you can relate to but it’s a fair trade for “Duke” (NICK GIONTA), who by rights should go down in history as one of the biggest and most entertainingly annoying jerk characters in all of horror! (I think his only real competition would be Wildman from FINAL EXAM or Dr. Crews from FRIDAY 7 or maybe the decapitated head of Kristen’s mom from ELM STREET 3 or any of those greedy guys that insist on going forward with a community event even though it’s a bad idea because of a hungry monster being in the vicinity.) Anyway, you get a witch too and the witch is cool. Plus farting zombies and a fantastic score that is pure unadulterated 80s pleasure. Watch SPOOKIES below!

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johnnyblackout (@johnnyblackout)
8 years ago

This is such a great flick. It literally has everything. They must have had an ok budget, because those practical SFX look pretty good. The VHS box artwork is amazing as well. It actually feels like a 3-story anthology edited together to form one incomprehensible movie. I caught this on USA’s Saturday Nightmares as a kid, and recorded it. Have you ever done a piece on USA’s Saturday Nightmares show?

Grokenstein (@grokenstein)
8 years ago

Spookies did actually make it to DVD…in Britain. The YouTube video is a rip of the Vipco R2 DVD (hence the Brit certificate at the start). If you’d like an even better or just a physical copy, it can still be had cheap ($13 new!) from Amazon (UK or US).

(1) Ignore the cover art displayed at Amazon for “Suicide.” Completely unrelated & troll-posted.
(2) The real cover from Vipco is crap. But if you like playing with Photoshop or GIMP, Wrong Side of the Art has the poster in HUGE format, and JFJacobs even has a cleaned-up image of the Richard Corben poster art sans logos and type. Make your own cover!
(3) UK = Region 2 PAL; make sure you can play it. Most PCs won’t care if you have NTSC or PAL, but your PlayStation3 certainly does. In any case you’ll need software to override the region coding if you don’t have it already.

disco.charlie (@disco-charlie)
8 years ago

Yes, yes, a thousand times yes!

I LOVE SPOOKIES! I used to watch it every time it was on USA’s Up All Night or Saturday Nightmares. It actually scared me… (SPOILER ALERT)…


… The first victim is a kid who would’ve been near my age at the time! Ballsy of you, Spookies! How no one survives, atypical of “slasher”-esque movies of the time. Kreon’s scary voice. The spider lady! Ugh, I love and fear this shiteous film.

As usual, amazing pick on the movies.

Also, there is an official Spookies page on Facebook! It looks pretty desolate and lonely, but maybe some new fans have been made here.

boliver (@boliver)
8 years ago

The special FX for Spookies were done by Jennifer Aspinall, who also did the melting FX for Street Trash (1987).

I’m pretty sure that spider scene where the guy’s head deflates was her work.

She later became a makeup artist for SNL and MADtv. On SNL, she even created Toonces: The Cat That Can Drive A Car!

FijiMermaid (@fijimermaid)
8 years ago

I haven’t seen this since it was on USA Up All Night. I’ll have to check it out. I really dig the intro theme music.

Apocalypsejunkie (@apocalypsejunkie)
8 years ago


darkko (@darkko)
8 years ago

i just got a hold of this one, but have yet to watch it.

if you go to the “Spookies” IMDB page, there are quite a few people involved with the film who have a lot to say in the message board section.

they seem to be really pissed off at how everything was handled with the additional footage filmed and spliced into their beloved little film.